Volkswagen Scandal Gets Stranger

VW's Matthias Muller

So now Volkswagen didn’t lie.

If you’ve been following the VW emissions saga with even an occasional passing glance, you know that the German automaker was caught in the midst of a lie. There’s incredibly compelling evidence that the company lied to the U.S. government about the emissions of its cars and lied to consumers who purchased those cars.

The problem, of course, was a piece of software that detected when a vehicle was being tested for emissions, allowing the car to emit acceptable levels of exhaust during testing before returning to its normal toxic-fume-spewing self once back on the road.

In the midst of a lawsuit with the United States, VW CEO Matthias Müller now says his company never lied, and the problem can be attributed to a “technical problem.”

Excuse us, but… what?

In an interview by NPR, Müller said that the problem was simply the result of misunderstanding the American law.

Car and Driver said,

When NPR pointed out to the CEO the lies EPA says it was told before the emissions problem was fully brought to light, Müller claimed: “We didn’t lie. We didn’t understand the question.”

That’s a hard one to swallow, and at this point it’ll be difficult to convince the American people, not to mention the EPA and Department of Justice, that it’s true.

In the meantime, the California Air Resources Board and the EPA have deemed that the fix Volkswagen submitted for vehicles equipped with the affected 2.0-liter diesel engines is not going to work.

The Truth About Cars said,

According to a letter sent to Volkswagen, the automaker’s plans were “incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements.”

Then again, it seems Volkswagen has a hard time understanding exactly what the legal requirements are in the United States.

The rejection by CARB and the EPA could lead down a path Volkswagen doesn’t want to go: the buyback of affected vehicles. That’s still a long shot, but it’s probably the right thing to do.

Should Volkswagen offer to buy back cars affected by its diesel scandal?

-tgriffith

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